World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

WikiLeak: SIS caught spying on Maori Party

WikiLeaks cable: SIS under investigation after spy scandal on Maori Party

This is one of the diplomatic cables about New Zealand held by Wikileaks.

30 November, 2004 SUBJECT: NEW ZEALAND SPY "SCANDAL" - SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE UNDER INVESTIGATION

This record is a partial extract of the original cable.

The full text of the original cable is not available.

Classified By: DEPUTY CHIEF OF MISSION DAVID R. BURNETT, FOR REASONS 1.4(B,D)

1. (S) Summary: Prime Minister Helen Clark has assented to a request by the Inspector-General of Security to conduct an investigation into allegations reported by the New Zealand media that New Zealand's Security Intelligence Service (SIS) has been spying on members of the newly formed Maori Party. The reports were attributed to anonymous whistleblowers in the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service, at least one of whom has since been identified as unaffiliated with the SIS. The alleged spying ("Operation Leaf") supposedly gathered political intelligence on Maori through wiretaps and computer hacking. Embassy Wellington RMAS dismisses the allegations; SIS contacts insist such domestic monitoring was discontinued a decade ago. Some monitoring of Maori criminal groups may continue, but is conducted exclusively by the police service. PM Clark has vehemently denied the allegations and thus far avoided political fallout, but has allowed an investigation by an independent supervisory body to proceed. End summary.

Legitimacy Of Media Sources Questioned --------------------------------------

2. (U) Since November 21, New Zealand media have been reporting allegations that New Zealand's Security Intelligence Service (SIS) has been spying on members of the newly formed Maori Party. Three dissident "SIS operatives" have claimed to local media that they had been assigned to monitor domestic Maori groups in New Zealand in order to get intelligence on tribal divisions, finances, and treaty claims and in general to get "dirt" on those targeted. The PM called these claims a "work of fiction" and challenged the three spies to make their complaints through proper channels if they were to be considered credible. One of the "spies" has been identified - New Zealand citizen Jack Sanders (aka James Thomas Stubbs). Sanders has been described by a NZ Police spokesman as a subject of interest by the Police for "dubious activities" in Asia.

3. (U) While PM Clark, who is also Minister for the SIS, has vehemently denied the allegations, she has assented to a request by the Inspector-General of Security, Justice Paul Neazor, to conduct an investigation. This assent may be linked to a letter of complaint from political rival and Maori Party co-founder Tariana Turia to Neazor. Turia told the press that her phone was bugged while she was leaving the Labour Party, although she also admitted that a private security firm she hired at that time told her it was unlikely SIS was involved. Turia also spoke with SIS head Richard Woods and stated that she has accepted his assurances her Maori Party was not a target.

4. (S) Post's RMAS spoke with SIS contacts, who stated that the press claims are not credible. They further stated that the SIS had monitored Maori groups in the past when they were considered a possible national security risk, but stopped doing so at least 10 years ago. In fact, when the RMAS asked SIS last year if they were looking at Maori groups in the wake of press reports that some Maori were embracing radical Islam, SIS said no, as they thought the police were doing an adequate monitoring job.

SIS Background --------------

5. (S) The SIS is one of four key elements in the GoNZ's security structure, which also includes the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), the NZ Police and the NZ Defence Force's special forces. These organs are coordinated by the Domestic and External Security Committee, based in the Department of PM and Cabinet. The SIS is akin to both our FBI and CIA and spends about 90 percent of its resources on domestic security issues. (It was authorized to conduct overseas operations in 1996.) Its focus is on internal issues involving counter-terrorism (CT), counter-proliferation, counterespionage and organized crime, and it is just completing a restructuring plan in preparation for requesting more CT funding. Neazor's investigation will be the first into NZ's counter-intelligence services since the 1996 reforms.

Comment -------

6. (C) The initial newspaper article, written by strong anti-Western columnist Nicky Hager, exploited public stereotypes with its allegations of a security apparatus running roughshod over civil liberties and with its overtones of racial profiling ) targeting law-abiding Maori. However, Clark's decision to allow an inquiry should effectively stem any political fallout for her Labour Government, especially as further press reporting continues to undercut the media's initial claim.

Swindells

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN News: Vaccine Inequity Triggers ‘Huge Disconnect’ Between Countries

Although COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to decline globally for a second consecutive week, the UN health agency chief said on Monday that “a huge disconnect” is mounting between some highly vaccinated countries, which see the pandemic as largely resolved, ... More>>

Save The Children: Almost 60 Children Killed In Gaza In The Last Week Alone

Save the Children is calling for an immediate ceasefire by all parties, as 58 children[i] in Gaza and two children in southern Israel have been killed in the last week. More than a thousand people in Gaza, including 366 children[ii], have also been injured. ... More>>


IPPPR: The Independent Panel Calls For Urgent Reform Of Pandemic Prevention And Response Systems

Expert independent panel calls for urgent reform of pandemic prevention and response systems The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response is today calling on the global community to end the COVID-19 pandemic and adopt a series of bold and ... More>>


Focus On: UN SDGs

ILO Voices: A Future With Hope, Free From Bonded Labour

By Padma Kumari Tamata Formerly in bonded labour, Padma Kumari Tamata is now a farmer, and grows and sells her own vegetables in the Kanchanpur district of Nepal. My name is Padma and I come from Vashi, a small hamlet in Nepal’s far-west Kanchanpur district. ... More>>

UN: Economic Recovery Under Threat Amid Surging COVID Cases And Lagging Vaccination In Poorer Countries

New York, 11 May — While the global growth outlook has improved, led by robust rebound in China and the United States, surging COVID-19 infections and inadequate vaccination progress in many countries threaten a broad-based recovery of the world ... More>>

Study: Cut Methane Emissions To Avert Global Temperature Rise

6 May 2021 Methane emissions caused by human activity can be reduced by up to 45 per cent this decade, thus helping to keep global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change, according to a UN-backed ... More>>